New Season of Penn & Teller’s Fool Us - “3rd Time’s the Charm”

Brilliant act. I’m surprised they didn’t hazard a guess.

A couple of points:

FIrst, Teller has to pick one suit and a number using just one hand, so there are only 20 cards that can be selected.

Second, when he is prying the ‘card’ loose with a screwdriver he’s holding it down with his thumb at the same time. So it didn’t need prying off, he’s manipulating something there, perhaps several cards stacked up and he’s separating the particular one.

So I think as he turns the ‘canvas’ around he’s manipulating at least one ‘card’ for the reveal into place, and finalizing the selection when he pries it off.

ETA: Also note the noise from stepping on the ‘bricks’ which could be covering up any sounds made in manipulation.

That’s a great point. I just rewatched it and he’s definitely fiddling with something with that screwdriver, but it had to have been so precise. I think it’s one of those cases that they were so impressed with the presentation and originality that they decided to award it regardless (plus it saved them a trip to their seats and back).

David Parr and Magical Katrina were entertaining but their tricks weren’t going to fool P&T, or in the case of Parr, even a 3rd grader.

Penn hints that Daniel Roy is doing a ‘memory’ trick. I don’t know what that is supposed to mean but seeing the back of those cards I think they may be marked. That radial pattern is often used for marking and Penn ruled out several techniques but not marking.

I’ll have watch this act more because he is very smooth with whatever he’s doing.

I think you are suggesting that there were layers to the ‘card’ he pried off. Possibly, but he handed it to Teller without hesitation, so it seems like either he or Penn would have noticed that (unless by luck Teller’s card was the top of the stack).

Similarly, if there were some sort of mechanism in the card to change it, I would think the guys would be likely to spot that.

I’d have to rewatch, but could anyone have been behind Jandro’s easel, putting the right card into place while he did his banter, then sneaking away?

And, back to Kostka, one of the biggest advantages a magician has is that they don’t tell you how the trick is going to go beforehand. So if the card is the third one down, and you pick three, they turn over the third card. If you pick two, they count off two, and turn over the next card. Maybe they count up from the bottom if you pick a high number, or do another ‘shuffle’ first, etc. Any time they reveal a card in an unusual spot, consider whether they could have revealed a different card in a different spot, etc.

Good question. There are several camera cuts back to Teller after he selects a card so there’s no way to see everything on stage but there is a good bit of distance between the easel and the backdrop and I think it’s pretty unlikely anybody could do anything back there unnoticed.

I did see that there is narrow gap between the card and the Lego-like ‘canvas’. The card seems to sit on a frame around the edges of the opening and then there’s a gap between the card and the canvas underneath, but just one thin layer of the brick material. I wonder if he could be only changing the suit and number somehow. I don’t know how he could do that, but he’s definitely manipulating something with that screw driver and his fingers when he’s removing that card. The guys didn’t examine the canvas, they were just looking at the card, however, they usually ask before examining anything not handed to them.

Yes, I assume he was holding it in his left hand, below the doll, from the moment he was introduced on stage. Once he covers his hand with the napkin, all he has to do is manipulate it up to where his thumb was.

However, I can’t spot how he disposes of the pincushion (or cork, or carrot, or whatever) at the end of the trick. It’s not in his left hand, since he opens it to show it’s empty, and it’s not in the right hand, since it’s empty from the moment he removes the last pin to the moment he tugs the napkin away from its very outer edge. Perhaps the pincushion is adhesive and so remains attached to the underside of napkin when he pulls it away.

Alternatively, maybe the pincushion wasn’t in his hand at all at the start of the trick; maybe he has some mechanism for springing it in and out of his left sleeve, which is conveniently covered by the napkin throughout the trick.

On Penn’s Sunday School: Episode 647: “Deep Fake Penn & Joey The Squirrel” (10/14/2020)
Penn says about Boris Wild:
“I’m dying to tell you part of his method, but I will not. One of the greatest tricks I’ve ever seen.”

The voice simulator was invented by Adam Cheyer of Siri. (who was previously on Fool Us)
Adam said to Penn, “We’re going to destroy it, but if you want a copy, you can have it.”
Penn said, “I can already say whatever I want.”

Thanks. I am sure they were able to re-watch and their team were able to figure it out. Either that, or the producers told them since they have a engineer-magician backstage who knows the methods.

Some internet clowns speculate that Wild ‘influenced’ Penn to pick ‘3’, or that it was just an accident that the card was in the 3rd position. I don’t think Penn would call it one of the greatest tricks he’s ever seen if that’s how it happened.

Penn might only be holding back on revealing that the cards are marked, but that doesn’t seen necessary, a quick internet search shows that Wild uses marked cards, and knowing the card was not the amazing part of this trick.

S7E12 (10/19/20)

Anna Ferris Simpson: So, this was a case of her having multiple outs and having to quickly change out everything after Teller’s choice (the rest of the cards they discarded in the deck also included the same message at the bottom). Indeed, at approximately the 6 minute mark, after Teller makes his shark choice, you can see the deck of cards being switched out behind Anna. So I guess the object they were referring to onstage was the table (I’m assuming someone under there who also had access to the die and laid down the adhesive for her shoe).

Pierre Ulric: Penn ruled out the hood and blindfold as being opaque, so I still have no idea how he could have seen through it to draw the guy. As for eyes on the bottom of his shoes, when I watched it again, I did notice him step on Penn’s drawing for a few seconds while he was wearing those silly glasses, so I’m wondering if there’s a connection there (some sort of camera?).

Garrett Thomas: The answer is given to us directly that it’s not a gimmicked ring, it’s just excellent sleight of hand (although I think the truth is that there are two rings). It’s pretty amazing to see it done right under Teller’s nose. I’m wondering if he actually dislocated his ring finger (when you hear that loud crack) while he tucks it behind his middle finger, because that would be commitment.

Francis Menotti: Going by Penn’s clues, the trick involves a Mercury fold and the dollar bill is concealed in his thumb tip, but I still can’t figure out the box (I noticed he turned it upside down when it became wooden planks, but it still had the hinge). I also noticed his hand disappearing out of shot a couple of times (once when he’s handling the dollar bill and switching out the card deck with his left hand, and another when his right hand disappears under the podium for unknown reasons), but again, I didn’t catch how the deck switched back or the dollar ended up back in the constructed box.

P&T’s act was fun and I never caught any of the moves until after the fact. They’re always two steps ahead of the audience.

I read that they are doing filming now for season 8 without a studio audience, and international acts will be performed live via Zoom, which will have to be seen to be believed. There is also a Merry Fool Us Christmas special scheduled for December 16.

I think he has one whole ring and one half ring. He says it’s not a ring that comes apart and that qualifies according to Penn’s statement. One transfer he does the simple way, from the ring finger to his pinkie both fingers are completely covered by his other hand very briefly so he can move the ring off the top of his ring finger and onto his pinkie. In another move his finger his bent at the joint but the top half is covered, this allows the ring to slip off the top but looks like it’s moving through the finger. But for the rest, if he’s not using a half ring then he can dematerialize either the ring or the finger. And yes, clearly he can dislocate a finger on his left hand. Remember that he let Teller examine his right hand, but all the transfers happen on his left.

Just fantastic work. He greatly deserves his FU trophy.

I’m curious about the move when he places it on Teller’s finger, then covers it partway with his hand and removes it. Maybe there was even a third pull apart ring?

Just the half ring I believe. This one had me stumped initially because you’d think Teller could tell it was only half a ring. I think Thomas had the whole ring behind Teller’s finger and pressing on the finger so that it felt to Teller like an entire ring was on his finger. You can see that the whole ring is revealed from just behind Teller’s finger.

If it was one normal ring and one half ring, wouldn’t that conflict with him telling P&T that it’s not a gimmicked ring? A half ring is a gimmicked ring. If he’s relying on this ring is not gimmicked but there’s a second gimmicked ring, that’s really dancing on the edge of truthiness. Magicians are expected to mislead the audience but I don’t think they’re supposed to lie to P&T.
I was amazed by the trick and have no idea how he was doing it without a gimmicked ring or second ring. It was a hell of a trick and I’d love to know the secret.

I thought the same thing as you at first, but Penn was very specific here.

I looked up Garrett Thomas and his ring trick online. There are a lot of options for buying the DVD in which he explains the trick. One review of the DVD said, without giving away the secret of course, that it can be done with virtually any ring of any material. And it said that the secret is so simple that you’ll feel like an idiot for not figuring it out yourself.
This one has me so impressed and without a clue that I’m tempted to shell out a few bucks for the answer.

What is advertised as his ring trick may not be everything he did on Fool Us. P&T know just about every commercially available magic trick out there, so I suspect he added something they couldn’t have found out otherwise. OTOH, they are not omniscient, not even Teller, they get fooled on their show all the time, and I’m sure occasionally with the most basic techniques they really should have known about.

I found a YouTube video of Thomas doing this trick and selling the DVD from eleven years ago. Kind of surprising that P&T weren’t aware of it, and he was definitely taking a chance given that it’s been out there for so long.
Still have no idea how he did it, though.

I bought the video and have only skimmed it so far. He covers all of the techniques you would need to do what he did on Fool Us but I didn’t see him do the finger-to-finger trick as performed on the show. I think he may have perfected the techniques since making the video. Without giving it all away I will say a couple of things.

Some of the moves involve two rings. They are both solid, non-gimmicked rings

Most of the moves rely on misdirection. You think the ring is on one finger when it’s really on a different finger.